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Incentive Contracts for Central Bankers under Uncertainty: Walsh-Svensson Non-Equivalence Revisited

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  • Schaling, E.
  • Hoeberichts, M.M.
  • Eijffinger, S.C.W.

    (Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research)

Abstract

We look at the implications of uncertain monetary policy preferences for the targeting and contracting approach to monetary stability. It turns out that in presence of uncertain preferences a linear incentive contract in the sense of Walsh (1995) performs better in terms of social welfare than an explicit inflation target as proposed by Svensson (1997). The reason is that, although both approaches can get rid of the inflationary bias, the impact of uncertain preferences on the variance of inflation will be considerably higher with an inflation target. We also find that on top of an optimal linear contract or target, a quadratic contract, in the sense of Rogoff's (1985) "weight-conservative" central banker, improves the outcome. In the case of an inflation target, a more conservative banker is needed than with a Walsh contract.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research in its series Discussion Paper with number 1998-11.

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Date of creation: 1998
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Handle: RePEc:dgr:kubcen:199811

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Web page: http://center.uvt.nl

Related research

Keywords: non-linearities; economic fluctuations; inflation targets; optimal contracts;

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References

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  1. Lars E.O. Svensson, 1995. "Optimal Inflation Targets, `Conservative' Central Banks, and Linear Inflation Contracts," NBER Working Papers 5251, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Alesina, Alberto & Tabellini, Guido, 1988. "Credibility and politics," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(2-3), pages 542-550, March.
  3. Eijffinger, S-C-W & de Haan, J, 1996. "The Political Economy of Central-Bank Independence," Princeton Studies in International Economics 19, International Economics Section, Departement of Economics Princeton University,.
  4. Beetsma, R.M.W.J. & Jensen, H., 1996. "Inflation targets and contracts with uncertain central banker preferences," Discussion Paper 1996-93, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  5. Rogoff, Kenneth, 1985. "The Optimal Degree of Commitment to an Intermediate Monetary Target," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 100(4), pages 1169-89, November.
  6. Herrendorf, Berthold & Lockwood, Ben, 1997. "Rogoff's "Conservative" Central Banker Restored," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 29(4), pages 476-95, November.
  7. Eijffinger, S.C.W. & Hoeberichts, M.M. & Schaling, E., 1997. "Why Money Talks and Wealth Whispers: Monetary Uncertainty and Mystique," Discussion Paper 1997-47, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  8. Walsh, Carl E, 1995. "Optimal Contracts for Central Bankers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 150-67, March.
  9. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1993. "Designing institutions for monetary stability," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 53-84, December.
  10. Bennett T. McCallum, 1995. "Two Fallacies Concerning Central Bank Independence," NBER Working Papers 5075, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Charles Nolan & Eric Schaling, 1996. "Monetary Policy Uncertainty and Central Bank Accountability," Bank of England working papers 54, Bank of England.
  12. Cukierman, Alex & Meltzer, Allan H, 1986. "A Theory of Ambiguity, Credibility, and Inflation under Discretion and Asymmetric Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(5), pages 1099-1128, September.
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Cited by:
  1. Weymark, Diana N., 2007. "Inflation, government transfers, and optimal central bank independence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 297-315, February.
  2. Ronald A. Ratti & Sang-Kun Bae, 2004. "Inflation Contracts, Inflation and Exchange Rate Targeting, and Uncertain Central Bank Preferences," Working Papers 0422, Department of Economics, University of Missouri, revised 21 Dec 2004.
  3. Francesca Castellani, 2001. "Central Bank Independence and Accountability Under Complete Information," IHEID Working Papers 05-2001, Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies.
  4. Diana N. Weymark, 2005. "Inflation, Government Transfers, and Optimal Central Bank Independence," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0502, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
  5. Winkler, Bernhard, 2000. "Which kind of transparency? On the need for clarity in monetary policy-making," Working Paper Series 0026, European Central Bank.
  6. Francesca Castellani & Xavier Debrun, 2001. "Central Bank Independence and the Design of Fiscal Institutions," IMF Working Papers 01/205, International Monetary Fund.
  7. Diana N. Weymark, 2001. "Inflation, Income Redistribution, and Optimal Central Bank Independence," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0102, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.

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